Architect: Kavellaris Urban Design
Location: Brunswick, Australia
Status: Completed – 2008
Photographer: Peter Bennetts
The Gold Street House responds to the rear laneway-like character which consists of garage doors, timber back yard fences and at times neglected leftover spaces from the terrace houses that front the opposing street. We felt that these homes (like many terrace typologies) abandoned the rear of their Terraces fronting Gold Street and in doing so over the years cultivated a language of gable/hipped roof building forms and utilitarian lean-to structures constructed of lightweight material such as compressed sheet; a very low tech economically driven decision.
Our response was to celebrate and reinterpret our context rather than to pretend that it was not there (the elephant we cannot see in the corner so to speak). The strategy was to insert a galvanized steel portal frame that encompasses the entire perimeter of the structure. The structural element is diagrammatically and symbolically translated as the ‘symbol’ of a ‘house’ as opposed to a simple ambiguous and anonymous outbuilding.
The materiality of the house incorporates and engages with the architectural language surrounding the contextual vernacular of black metal wall and roof cladding, painted compressed sheeting, and timber paneling. By critically arranging these materials and their application, the house proudly and boldly addresses the street in its bright red and purple colors.
The plan inverts the traditional terrace program with the active living zones on the first floor opening onto a north-facing balcony and incorporates passive sustainable design such as northern oriented glass bi-fold doors and louvers for cross ventilation as the primary means of cooling, solar hot water and 5-star rated sanitary fixtures.